India making efforts to keep Bangladesh under control: Fakhrul

Mirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirFile photo

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday alleged that neighbouring India has been continuously making efforts to keep Bangladesh under its control instead of resolving the pressing issue of water-sharing of common trans-border rivers.

Speaking at a discussion meeting on Farakka Long March Day, he also criticised the Awami League government for its failure to take action in resolving the water problem with India, stating that the current regime has been in power solely to secure the interests of its foreign master.

“We see that our neighbour (India) has always been carrying out all their activities to keep Bangladesh under control, since its birth. Not only the Farakka dam, not the Ganga water, but they have always been negligent in the water distribution of 154 common rivers. They’re not resolving the problem,” Fakhrul said.

He mentioned that the current Awami League government has long been buying time, promising the country’s people to ink the Teesta water-sharing deal without success.

“The root cause of this failure lies in the fact that this is completely a subservient regime. It has consistently failed to take a stand in favour of the people's interests as they are extremely feeble in dealing with India.”

Bhasani Anusari Parishad arranged the programme at the National Press Club, marking the historic ‘Farakka Long-March Day', commemorating populist leader Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani’s long march towards the Farakka Dam 48 years ago.

On 16 May, 1976, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani led a massive long march from Rajshahi towards India's Farakka barrage, demanding the demolition of the barrage constructed by the Indian government to divert the flow of Ganges water inside its territory.

Fakhrul said the current government’s only job is to protect their own interests and those of their masters by repressing the country’s people since it usurped power through a unilateral election.

'How will they (AL govt) resolve the problems of the Teesta and Farakka? How will they resolve the water-sharing problem of other common rivers? Because they captured power with special assignments (by others),” he observed.

In such a situation, the BNP leader said the people of Bangladesh must stand on their own feet to restore their lost democratic rights.

He said the BNP and many other opposition parties have been carrying out struggles for the restoration of the democratic rights of people. “For this, many of us have sacrificed our lives and many of us have to endure oppression and persecution.”

Fakhrul also said there is now no alternative path to waging a united movement by all opposition parties rising above division and misunderstanding among them for ousting the current monstrous regime.

“We must move forward in unison in our own interests to reach our desired goal. No one will do it for us; we have to do it ourselves."

He said the government jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by implicating her in false cases and filed cases against 60 lakh leaders and activists of the party to hang onto power. “Oppression and arrests are still ongoing...our leaders and activists are being convicted and sent to jail.”

The BNP leader said the Awami League has retained power by manipulating elections through various tactics as it knows it will face a massive debacle in a free, fair and credible election.